Teacher censured for punching student who said he had 'a moustache like a paedophile'

Teacher censured for punching student who said he had 'a moustache like a paedophile'
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A teacher has been censured for punching a 13-year-old student in the face for saying he had a "moustache like a paedophile would".

The unnamed male teacher had been playing for the college social touch rugby team in 2018 while the student watched.

"As Teacher K came off the field, Student B made a comment about Teacher K having a 'moustache like a paedophile would'," the agreed statement of facts says.

"Teacher K approached Student B and asked if he wanted a smack in the face. Student B pointed to his cheek and said, 'Yes right here'."

The teacher then punched the student in the face.

"After punching Student B, Teacher K initially walked away before walking back and saying, 'You're not laughing now'," the statement of facts says.

The teacher was charged with assault by police and completed diversion, and was also referred to the Teaching Council Disciplinary Tribunal.

The teacher explained his actions, saying he was frustrated the student had been cheeky about his moustache and it was upsetting to be called a paedophile.

He also said he is receiving ongoing counselling and medication for depression and anxiety. 

The Tribunal has found punching a 13-year-old boy in the face meets the standard of serious misconduct.

In its final decision, the Tribunal ordered a penalty of censure, along with conditions on his practising certificate, and annotation.

"Punching a child's head is a very serious matter," the Tribunal said in its verdict.

"[His] behaviour was totally unacceptable and set a very poor example to the student, not to mention that it could have had some very serious physical consequences for the boy."

The teacher's and student's name, along with the name of their college, has been suppressed.